Put Yourself in the Patient’s Shoes
Supporting someone with cancer in the family could be difficult if you cannot understand the patient.
Look back on the instances when you were sick and afraid. How did you feel? What did you want to talk about? Moreover, don’t forget to consider your loved one’s personality.
Taking their personality into account, what’s the best way to care for them?
Don’t be Afraid to Strike up a Conversation
In the fear of saying something wrong, caregivers sometimes choose to remain quiet and just talk when it’s about the patient’s physical and medical needs.
When you’re supporting someone with cancer in the family, you don’t need to limit the conversation topics to medications, chemotherapy, and other medical procedures.
After all, using words is one of the best ways to give emotional support to cancer patients.
But what are you going to talk about?
In striking up a conversation, you can take note of the following tips:
- Be honest when things get awkward and allow for sadness. Experts say that acknowledging the awkwardness is better than pretending that the situation is not happening.
- Let them know that you’re ready to listen when they need someone to talk to.. And of course, be available when they do want to speak with you.
- Let them focus on conversation topics that make them feel good. Consider striking up a conversation about sports, pets, travel, or religion.
- Allow them to keep an active role as your loved one. You can do this by asking for their advice and opinions about matters that concern you.
- Focus on uplifting words like “I care about you”, “I think about you”, or “What are you planning to do? How can I help?”
- Be generous with honest compliments like, “You look well rested today.”
Finally, during your conversations, give them allowance for feeling down, silent, or withdrawn. In other words, it’s okay to allow your loved one to be “negative” from time to time. Don’t take it personally when they seem angry or upset.